3 Ukrainian shoe brands to buy and support right now – Footwear News
As Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat, with day-to-day operations hampered and production and shipping restricted across the country.
But during this extremely difficult time, there have been countless stories of perseverance and determination.
And this month, 30 Ukrainian clothing and footwear designers had a huge opportunity to sell their products to a global audience through a new e-commerce site, Angelforfashion.com.
Former Zappos and Vivienne Westwood executive Jen Sidary launched the company after a month-long development process.
Sidary, who lived in Ukraine in 2020 and was immediately struck by the passion and creativity of the fashion community there, has been in the business ever since. She leads the Ukrainian Fashion NYC project, which is supported by USAID’s Competitive Economy program, and helps brands enter the US market.
After Russia attacked Ukraine in February, Sidary knew she had to do more. She built on her past experience at Zappos – where she learned all aspects of e-commerce – and got to work.
“Many people have observed the courage and strength of people of Ukraine as they resist and defend their strong values,” said Sidary. “We are here to introduce you to another amazing force within Ukraine: their phenomenal fashion industry. They are inspiring brave and you will see their values reflected in their creations.”
Here are three shoe brands to shop at Angelforfashion.com
how it started
Fueled by the opportunity that followed the Ukrainian revolution, Maria Masliy founded the brand in 2015. “I was a photographer and director who loved shoes,” she recalls.
Colorful and feminine, the collection ranges from flats to heels.
The designer recently launched a cactus leather eco-cap.
how it started
Founded by designer Katya Lysenko in 2016, the designer decided to get into shoe design after finding the perfect shoes for New Year’s Eve. She set out to create shoes that were both stylish and comfortable.
High heels with a bit of drama. Embellishments and rich materials like velvet are incorporated throughout.
To perfect the fit of her shoes, the designer personally measured over 300 women’s feet in Ukraine.
how it started
Designer Alina Kachorovska grew up in the shoe business under the tutelage of her grandmother, who started working in a shoe workshop in the late 1950s, and her mother, who oversees production at the factory in their hometown of Zhytomyr. She launched the brand seven years ago.
Feminine pieces that don’t depend on trends, but can be worn season after season.
In addition to the growing e-commerce business, which now accounts for almost 50% of total sales, Kachorovska has three stores in Ukraine, which are combined with the family cafes.